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  • Writer's pictureAccounString Management Private Limited

Insights to Accounting Professionals from COVID-19 crisis

The tax and accounting profession is playing a vital role in assisting taxpayers and businesses through the corona virus emergency. Your clients are facing a great deal of stress and uncertainty about how to respond to the COVID-19 shutdown.

As your clients’ most trusted advisor, it’s time to start thinking outside the box about how you can help answer questions, plan ahead, and guide clients to make smart financial decisions.

As you are faced with many decisions on how you work with clients and plan for the future, we have identified three issues that you need to consider when making decisions:

  • Your clients need you now more than ever;

  • Constant communication is the best way to strengthen client relationships;

  • And a digital workflow isn’t that hard to implement.

The Challenges and Roadmap to Recovery

There are three main phases to consider:

  • Phase 1 – Initial health response, government shutdowns, and hunker-down mentality. Survive at all costs.

  • Phase 2 – Major fiscal and financial packages – Financial aid, EMI Moratorium, etc. 

  • Phase 3 – Opening up and the new normal. Will this be a V or a U recovery? What will happen when the cash flow hits the market and the pent-up demand starts letting loose? Will it be a slower and deeper recession and then recovery? Who are the losers and winners? When will we have herd immunity and a vaccine?

Where does this leave tax and accounting professionals?

One thing is for certain: while medical professionals, and other essential personnel are heroes on the front line; tax and accounting professionals are pulling up the rear helping their client navigate the economic collapse. 

The volume of questions combined with the tax deadlines and various emergency lending programs has made most of you work harder than ever.

Client questions – and hence the opportunities – are immense:

  • Should they take on more debt? 

  • What tax credits apply to them? 

  • Should they lay off staff? 

  • Do they need to raise cash fast? 

  • What government help is available to them? 

  • They need much more than bookkeeping – do you offer virtual CFO services? 

We have put together a guide for possible consultation packages for your current clients. In addition, there are many losers and winners in the economic comeback. We have identified a few opportunities to target that will need tax and accounting help in the coming years as well.

Not every business will survive, but the smart practices will adapt and grow through this crisis and come out stronger on the other side. 

1. COVID-19 Tax Planning

Tax planning and financial strategies have been turned upside down. Now is the time to migrate some clients from annual tax preparation services to year-round tax minimization planning subscriptions. If just 10% of your client base signs on for the tax planning program, you can better serve these clients and will drastically increase your income.

2. Emergency Virtual CFO

With many businesses and taxpayers making emotional decisions, it is vital that they work through the problem with input from their accounting expert. 

Decisions on payroll, receivables, payables, budgeting, and forecasting are all vital pieces of a virtual CFO role. You are more cost-effective than having a full-time accountant on staff and provide greater insight because of your exposure to multiple businesses. We are developing outreach campaigns to your existing client base and can assist with targeted landing pages and marketing programs. 

3. Winners & Losers

While hotels, restaurants, and events struggle, many businesses have pivoted and are growing through this crisis. The demand for lawyers will be high. Many businesses may close down but resurface with cleaner balance sheets. Landlords are going to want someone renting the space. 

This is the time to start focusing on niches and industries that need help to recover or even come back with added growth. We are very close to launching a new product line that will make it easy to target a specific service or niche. So, start planning what you want to focus on and we can support you on the compliance side.

The Importance of Showcasing Expertise

Now more than ever, your clients appreciate and want to hear from you on ways you can help. We have been working overtime developing client-facing content that helps showcase your expertise, answer client questions, and drive more engagement opportunities. 

How you support your clients today will determine how your practice thrives in the future. 

Unfortunately, we have seen some tax and accounting pros get overwhelmed by the economic fallout. Instead of stepping up their digital presence and marketing commutations, they have done the opposite. 

Investing in maintaining and strengthening your relationships with clients during the time of crisis will define your long-term success. 

The COVID-19 crisis is going to affect every individual, business, and tax and accounting practice –  that’s a simple fact. Using the tools we discussed above will help you adapt and grow through this time and come out stronger on the other side.

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